Entries Tagged as 'Software'

Microsoft Office Accounting

Microsoft has release the 2009 update of their accounting software, including the free Office Accounting Express 2009 (U.S. version) of the software.

The Express 2008 version worked very well, in fact I migrated from an older version of Quick Books (which I refused to pay the ridiculous upgrade fees for) to it, and was quite happy.

The only negative thing about 2008 was the templates for invoices were a little “un-professional” looking; but in their defense it was easy (provided you have Office installed) to create a template which resembled my old Quick Books invoices.

I definitely recommend you take a look at Microsoft Office Accounting, the Express version is one of the few instances of getting what you pay for!

Originally posted 2008-11-22 00:00:45.

Libre Office

In the beginning there was WordStar, then WordPerfect, then Word… then Microsoft Office, Star Office, Open Office, Go OO — and all was fine until Oracle purchased Sun…

Now we have Libre Office — which is the Open Source Community’s answer to Larry Ellison’s initial statements about commercializing Open Office (after all, open doesn’t necessarily mean free).

While Oracle has since halted plans for commercialization of Open Office, and turned Open Office over to community development; the forked version of the code which became Libre Office supported by The Document Foundation is quickly becoming the defacto personal productivity suite.  Go OO has already started combining their code improvements into the Libre Office mainline codebase, and has announced plans to cease development of their branch of Open Office in favor of having one community based project.

While the name Open Office might be easier to say than Libre Office… there’s not doubt that Libre Office will be the right choice for individuals and businesses who are tired of big business exerting control over their document software.

Go ahead, uninstall Open Office and install Libre Office 3.3 (or what ever the latest version happens to be) — be part of the future.

http://www.libreoffice.org/

 

Originally posted 2011-04-25 02:00:44.

OS-X – Desktop Search

I’m posting this mainly to illustrate that not Microsoft alone get’s the importance of desktop search — Apple’s Spotlight provides much the same level of functionality as Windows Search in an equally seamless implementation.

So the question (once again) is why are all the Linux based desktop search solutions pathetic?

Originally posted 2010-07-20 02:00:15.

GIMP

GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

It has many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, etc.

GIMP is expandable and extensible. It is designed to be augmented with plug-ins and extensions to do just about anything. The advanced scripting interface allows everything from the simplest task to the most complex image manipulation procedures to be easily scripted.

That’s what the GIMP site says; but what GIMP is is a free Open Source alternative to programs like Adobe Photoshop and Corel Paint Shop Pro that runs on Linux, OS-X, and Windows.

GIMP is reasonably easy to use, powerful, and rock solid.

If you understand the principles of image/photo editing you’ll be a pro at using GIMP in no time — far easier to use than Photoshop, far more functional than Paint Shop Pro.  And it’s free — totally free — just download it an install it.  There’s lots of plug-ins for it as well (so make sure you take a look at some of those add ins).  Be sure and review the online documentation, tutorials, and FAQ; plus there are a number of well written books on GIMP available for purchase.

GIMP.org

Originally posted 2010-03-08 02:00:45.

Free Software!

Let me start off by saying that there is a lot of free software available for just about every popular operating system that works well, is well written, and straight forward to use.

Let me also point out that a lot of free software is free because is simply couldn’t be sold — yes it’s that bad (of course there is a lot of commercial software that is on the market that shouldn’t be sold; but that’s another rant).

I have a favorite saying:

You rarely get what you pay for.

And with free software that could be taken to mean, it almost always ends up costing you…

I always recommend that you read up on software before you use it; and try to read comments written by someone with similar computer skills and goals as you have.  Then ask yourself the simple questions “do you need the software” and “do you have something that already does the same thing that works”.

If you just want to play with a piece of software, consider using a virtual machine to try it out and then discard the changes; and I always try out a piece of software in a virtual machine even if I’m fairly sure it’s something I want.

I maintain a list of products (free and for pay) on my web site that I consider worth using…

It’s rare that I have any problems with any of my computers — and that’s mainly because I don’t “junk” them up with lots of software I never will use and don’t need… and keep in mind — COMPUTER PROBLEMS are one of the costs of installing software.

Originally posted 2008-12-17 12:00:43.

NetBeans for C/C++ on Windows

 

I’ve been a fan of the NetBeans environment for developing for a long time.  Yes, there’s a great deal of resistance to it because it’s not OpenSource (it’s an Oracle sponsored project), but it’s free for Windows, OS-X, and Linux.

Many think NetBeans is only an IDE for Java development.  That’s definitely not the case.  NetBeans will do Java, HTML5, C/C++, Fortan, Groovy, PHP, and many more (with plug-ins)… and works with both Tomcat and GlassFish (GlassFish is actually bundled with several NetBeans packages — but you do not have to install it if you’re not going to use it).

NetBeans is written in Java, and you need not only a JRE (runtime), but also a JDK (development kit)… on Java.com (also an Oracle project — they purchased Sun) you can download bundles for many operating systems including JRE, JDK, and NetBeans (you can also install them individually).

Getting NetBeans and C/C++ to work on Linux is a snap, you just need your development tools setup before you install / run NetBeans.  I’d considered install on Windows pretty straight forward as well, but since I’ve helped two different people get it working in the last week, and several a few months ago I’m going to write a quick list of the steps involved.


 

While not all of these steps need to be done in the order I’m listing them in, unless you really know what you’re doing (and why would you be reading this if you already know how to make this work), just follow the steps.  If you have any problems getting this to work, use my contact page — I definitely want to improve my instructions (no — I’m not going to put screen shots and make it a guide for people who’ve never seen a computer before… it’s a development environment, so I’m working on the premise you either know C/C++ or you’re taking a class in it).

At the end of the article are some links that might help (please search the internet if the links are broken).

  1. Download and install the latest JRE (or the one you’ve been told to if taking a class).
  2. Download and install the latest JDK (or the one you’ve been told to / matches the JRE).
  3. Download and install the latest NetBeans full package (it’s the right most column, if you’re worried about disk space, don’t install GlassFish).
  4. Download and install MinGW in C:\MinGW
  5. Run the mingw-get-setup.exe file and select the C++ compiler, development environment, MSYS
    base (we’ll install the rest in the next step).
  6. Download and install MSYS into C:\MinGW\msys\1.0 (watch the navigation pane to insure you don’t get an extra 1.0 in the path).  Let the install “normalize” (that’ll remove duplicate copies of tools.
  7. Add the following to the Windows path (you will need admin rights — if you don’t have admin rights then you’ll have to launch NetBeans through a batch file that adds them to the windows path before executing NetBeans).
    • c:\MinGW\bin
    • c:\MinGW\MSys\1.0\bin
  • Launch NetBeans and do the following:
    • tools->plugins
      insure C++ is installed/enabled
    • tools->preferences->C++
      if necessary add the MinGW toolchain and accept defauls (NetBeans should locate all the required components).
  • Now just create a “Hello World” project and insure that it works.

 


 

Originally posted 2015-02-07 15:00:29.

Microsegmentation

I’ve been reading quite bit on “microsegmentation”; both VMware and Cisco have written quite a bit about it as a core of a software defined data center (SDDC).

It has implications for security, performance, redundancy — you name it.

Microsegmentation has the potential to be a defining characteristic of the datacenters that make cloud computing a reality as well as traditional datacenters located on business campuses.

Right now I’m trying to figure what the best way to actually “play” with the technology is to try and understand the details, and what could be done to optimize the creation (and re-allocation) or segments.

Setting up Netbeans for Android App Development

As an alternate to using Eclipse for Android App development, you can use Netbeans or the Google Android Studio (currently an early BETA and not extremely robust).

 

Tested configuration:

 

The following steps are only to setup Netbeans for Android development; you will need to take additional steps to setup devices in the Android SDK before you can actually deploy and test a APK, but you can create a template app after completing these steps and build it.

 

You may use this reference for additional information and screen shots of the panels (it is not necessary to purchase the extension; the “free” license will work fine for what is required):

http://nbandroid.org/wiki/index.php/Installation

 

 

1) Launch the Android SDK Manager

    update components as needed.

    close SDK Manager

 

2) Launch Netbeans

    Goto

        Tools->Plug Ins

     Goto

        Settings

     Goto

        Add

                 Name: NBAndroid

          URL: http://nbandroid.org/release72/updates/updates.xml

     Goto

        Available Plugins

            Search: NBAndroid

            Select “NBAndroid Gradle Support”, “Android” “NBAndroid Extension”

            Click “Install”

            Accept licenses and follow through panels.

         Goto

        Tools->Options->Misc->Android

            Set SDK Location: c:\android\sdk

     Exit Net Beans (or create an Android app and build it)

RAPTOR Example Plugin

RAPTOR is a flowchart interpreter originally designed at the Air Force Academy, the runtime library that comes with RAPTOR is fairly week, and if you’re serious about using it to teach computer programming concepts, or using it for any type of proof of concept, you’ll definitely want to consider enhancing it.

Attached is a Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (you can use the free Express version — but don’t try to use any Visual Studio newer than 2010)

Here is a list of the example functions implemented (using C#) 

 

  • Parse_String
  • Parse_String_Count

 

  • String_Trim
  • String_Trim_Start
  • String_Trim_End

 

  • String_Lowercase
  • String_Upppercase

 

  • String_Format_Int
  • String_Format_Double
  • String_Format_Date
  • String_Format_DateTime

 

  • Array_Int_Sort
  • Array_Double_Sort

 

  • Random_Int
  • Random_Double

 

  • Is_Int
  • Is_Double
  • Parse_Int
  • Parse_Double

 

To test or use this plugin, just place the DLL into the RAPTOR directory and re-start RAPTOR.  There is also a sample RAPTOR program included along with the full source code.

This source code, and the accompanying DLL may not be used in any commercial endeavor, it may; however, be freely used for educational purposes.

 


 

Download raptor_example_plugin.7z

RAPTOR Loop Logic

RAPTOR is a flowchart interpreter, or flowchart-based programming environment by Terry Wilson, Martin C Carlisle, Jeff Humphries, and Jason Moore from the United States Air Force Academy (used there, the United States Military Academy, and a number of other educational institutions to teach an introductory course to computer programming concepts).

How good or bad the system is I’ll leave to you to decide.  One thing that annoys me (greatly) about the program is the loop logic construct — it’s backwards from any computer language I’ve ever seen, and while Dr Carlisle feels that it’s implemented in a fashion that makes it easiest for non-computer people to understand… many disagree.

The attached registry files will allow you to flip the logic (or flip it back to default). 

RAPTOR Flowchart Interpreter

 

 


 

Download raptor-loop-logic registry files (as a 7z file)

Download raptor-loop-logic registry files (as a Zip file)